Fantasy Football on Target: Week 6

by Tim Heaney on October 12, 2011 @ 16:27:31 PDT

 


Fantasy Football Targets | Fantasy Football Stats

Opportunity in the NFL can translate to success in fantasy football. While a wide receiver or tight end may have caught a few passes in a given week, his target total might have been double or triple that. Those looks may not have turned into receptions one week but might in the future.

Whose involvement is worth watching? Are these target numbers a trend in the making or simply an aberration?

Household names on the leaderboards this week, right? You can tell it was the first bye slate.

Early Doucet is a part of the Arizona Cardinals' passing flock, sure, but 16 looks!? Arizona was down 28-0 after the first quarter; they needed to pass. It's a reminder that Doucet is a more frequent target for Kevin Kolb than Andre Roberts, but it also should refresh your memory about how odd game flow can inflate fantasy value.

Top Week 5 wide receivers

Rk
Player
Tm
Tar
Rec
Rec%
1
Early Doucet
ARI
16
8
50.0
2
Darrius Heyward-Bey
OAK
12
7
58.33
3
Jacoby Jones
HOU
11
1
9.1
4
Dwayne Bowe
KC
11
7
63.6
5
Damian Williams
TEN
11
6
54.6
6
Victor Cruz
NYG
11
8
72.7
7
Dane Sanzenbacher
CHI
11
6
60.0
8
Ben Obomanu
SEA
11
6
60.0
9
Jason Avant
PHI
10
9
90.0
10
Doug Baldwin
SEA
9
8
88.9
11
Mike Williams
TB
9
4
44.4
12
Mario Manningham
NYG
9
5
55.6
13
Roddy White
ATL
9
6
66.7
  • Is the speedy Heyward-Bey finally putting football knowledge into practice? His 19 targets and 11 receptions with a 19.5 yards-per-grab average say he's maturing. A revolving door of production between DHB, Denarius Moore (six plays) and Jacoby Ford (seven utilizations) could easily happen as the season wears on. Warning: DHB struggles with consistency - note his catch percentage this week - and though Hue Jackson's emphasis on vertical passing has aided this O, Oakland's passing game relies heavily on big plays, which could produce disappointing weeks. Regardless, mark Heyward-Bey as a more enticing bye week filler worth an addition with potential for everyweek WR3 utility.
  • While DHB is growing, Jones is stalling. His catch percentage should remind you that his already limited window for contribution (Andre Johnson's hamstring injury) comes with shaky football skills. Opportunity isn't always fulfilled; if you own the Houston Texans' wideout, you should tattoo that on your forehead. Kevin Walter is the more reliable wideout here.
  • Mimicking Jones, Mike Williams, TE Kellen Winslow and the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' pass catchers haven't capitalized on Josh Freeman's offerings. Spotty QB decision-making, Williams' ineffective technique and frequent Cover 2 defenses have limited this offense's potential. In PPR leagues, maybe it's still worth playing Winslow and Williams, especially with byes underway, and Williams' likely dirt-cheap price could present a buying opportunity. Still, you can't be too excited about them.
  • Manningham is the starter for the New York Giants, but Cruz is looking like the better fantasy play. The latter has had several fortunate catches on the season, but his playmaking can no longer be ignored, especially with 20 targets in the past two weeks. Manningham remains a solid buy-low candidate, but it'll take some patience; maybe his matchup with the Buffalo Bills in Week 6 can fill a bye with decent stats.
  • Bye-weekers Baldwin and Obomanu will probably fall under the radar in most leagues. If Charlie Whitehurst has to start for Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), Baldwin could be a long-term beneficiary; Whitehurst raved about Baldwin to the press and went his way frequently after taking over for T-Jax in Week 5. Obomanu is a better bet to get lost in the shuffle, and he has less upside than Baldwin.
  • Sanzenbacher benefited from the Chicago Bears' Sunday comeback attempt, grabbing plenty of dump-off passes from Jay Cutler. As long as Da Bears' offensive line struggles to protect No. 6, Sanz should be a relatively consistent safety valve with deep PPR value. Sadly, the rook, complete with a 9.1 yards-per-catch average, stands as the safest Bears WR play.
  • Deep-leaguers should stash Damian Williams if they have a spot to wait through his bye. The Tennessee Titans threw a bunch in their Week 5 comeback, but Williams has enough talent to give a fraction of what Kenny Britt (knee) could've offered, which can be useful when off-weeks cripple your wideout corps.
  • Avant will often have games like this - a struggling Philadelphia Eagles aerial game leaned on him - but he turned the ball over twice after catches. For byes, he's a PPR option, but as the fourth option on the receiving depth chart, he's hardly reliable.

Top Week 5 tight ends

Rk
Player
Tm
Tar
Rec
Rec%
1
Jimmy Graham
NO
12
8
66.7
2
Owen Daniels
HOU
11
7
63.6
3
Kellen Winslow
TB
9
5
55.6
4
Joel Dreessen
HOU
9
5
55.6
5
Aaron Hernandez
NE
9
5
55.6
6
Jared Cook
TEN
9
4
44.4
7
Tony Gonzalez
ATL
8
6
75.0
8
Rob Housler
ARI
8
3
37.5
9
Jeremy Shockey
CAR
7
3
42.9
10
Jermichael Finley
GB
7
4
57.1
11
Jermaine Gresham
CIN
7
5
71.4
  • In Week 5, Dreessen topped his catch total from the previous four weeks. With Andre Johnson out, maybe the Texans incorporate both TEs on a more frequent basis; James Casey's pectoral injury increases the odds of Dreessen being more involved. He's worth watching, especially by those looking for a bye replacement in the next few weeks.
  • With Todd Heap (hamstring) out in Week 5, the Arizona Cardinals involved Housler frequently during their comeback attempt. A top option at the position in the 2011 draft, he has some talent as a pass catcher, and an errant Kevin Kolb throw cost Housler a TD. Unfortunately, he's on bye, Heap could return soon, and the Cards' TEs aren't reliable sources of production.
  • Cook is on bye, too, but with 15 targets in his last two games and a season-high four grabs in Week 5, he's growing into a frequent role for the Kenny Britt-less Tennessee Titans offense. He'll be on many pickup lists in the coming weeks.
  • Rob Gronkowski (four Week 5 targets) stayed in to block often against the New York Jets, allowing Hernandez to be more involved. This could be this case in Week 6 versus the Dallas Cowboys and against any team with a solid pass rush. The momentum is shifting among New England Patriots tight ends.
  • Finley's four-catch, 67-yard day could've been much better for the Green Bay Packers. Last week, he was clamoring more for targets. In Week 5, he dropped what would've been a TD pass by letting it hit him in the numbers. Finley remains a must-play in most setups, but his offensive attention could be dropping, especially if James Jones keeps stepping up.

The coming of Tebow

Denver Broncos WR Brandon Lloyd
Lloyd redeemed?

Tim Tebow booted Kyle Orton from the Denver Broncos' starting slinger job. The red zone and running games have a new X-factor, but what about the passing game?

Last season, in Tebow's Week 15, 16 and 17 starts, Brandon Lloyd was the chief beneficiary, totaling 14 receptions for 263 yards and two scores. Tebow's arm strength, while not always accurate, probably lends to giving a tentative advantage to Lloyd, a decent downfield threat. Eric Decker, meanwhile, could suffer. He seemed to be more in tune with Orton.

Pierre, mon frere?

Pierre Garcon has 26 targets over the last three weeks, and four touchdowns in the two games in which Curtis Painter has started. He's the Indianapolis Colts' No. 1 wideout, but that's hardly the ringing endorsement it used to be.

He's tacking on ample yards after the catch in relatively simple plays - a sign that if those stop working, Garcon could falter. Painter has looked more poised in each contest, but Garcon's reliance on the big play makes him a solid sell-high candidate.

Same old New Orleans

Jimmy Graham is the top New Orleans Saints passing target. Marques Colston (six Week 5 looks), Lance Moore (six), Robert Meachem (five), and Devery Henderson (one) continue to torture fantasy owners.

Colston's increasing involvement won't help matters. Each of the wideouts is merely a third fantasy receiver at this point, and predicting game situations remains the best way to gauge which will have an impact. In their upcoming tilt with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Colston could see plenty of cornerback Aqib Talib - a chance for Moore and Meachem to make more noise in the weak middle of Tampa Bay's defense.

Risers

(Week 5 targets)

Player
Tm
Notes
Greg Little (bye)
CLE
Little's bye-week crash course in this O, his new starting role, Cleveland's desire to expand their potency.... Do you smell a breakout, too?
James Jones (7)
GB
This coverage-dictated tease is playing more and worth a trial pickup. Maybe Jermichael Finley's continued erratic play will open up more for JJ. Reminder: He's an all-or-nothing for fantasy.

Monitor

(Week 5 targets)

Player
Tm
Notes
Jason Hill (8)
JAC
That's 17 looks in the last 2 weeks. Receptions? 7. To be fair, he had 5 in Week 5. Blaine Gabbert's growing pains are emptying Hill's target potential.
Hines Ward (8)
PIT
Ben Roethlisberger's embracing of the short-passing game thanks to his foot injury bolstered Ward's production in Week 5. Will his rediscovery of Ward last? Maybe it's worth a PPR dart throw if someone gave up on him, but you can't expect prime-years numbers from the 35-year-old.
Naaman Roosevelt (7)
BUF
Donald Jones (ankle) will miss 4-6 weeks. Roosevelt stands as potentially sneaky PPR depth play, especially if David Nelson continues his discomfort playing on the outside.
Devin Aromashodu (5)
MIN
With Percy Harvin's limited work and health issues, Bernard Berrian's disappearance and Michael Jenkins' inconsistency, DA saw a season high for targets in Week 5. Flier material
Harry Douglas (5)
ATL
Julio Jones' bum hammy could mean more looks, at least for Week 6, for Douglas.
Delanie Walker (3)
SF
Joshua Morgan (leg) was placed on IR. While Ted Ginn Jr., Kyle Williams and others could see more looks, Walker has arguably been a more effective weapon and presents the most intrigue here outside of a potentially rejuvenated Michael Crabtree.
Jeremy Kerley (3)
NYJ
Derrick Mason's departure opens up time for the rookie slot man. The Jets need something to kick-start their O. Maybe he'll become PPR-relevant for desperate owners.
Derrick Mason (1)
HOU
Better offense, opportunity to step up with Andre Johnson sidelined ... but does he have enough juice left to do anything with it?
Facebook Twitter Google +

Fantasy Football Targets | Fantasy Football Stats

About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

Don't miss these great reports....


What do you think? Sound off!



Recent KFFL releases